I found this picture of Justin today along with others from our honeymoon. Wow! Look how young he looks—how young he is. It’s so weird for me to think that I was 19 when we got married. Then, I felt plenty old enough. I thought I was wise and mature. And certainly Justin was old enough. He was 21—very old in my 19 year-old opinion.
And, truth is, I do think we were old enough. We made a great decision—the second-best decision of my life. But man, old enough is still so young.
It’s wild to think that true, bottomless, life-altering love is possible at 19. And, I guess it’s possible even earlier. We’d been together for 5 and a half years when we got married. Did I really fall in love at 14?
I think so. The way I feel about the early years of my relationship with Justin is pretty similar to the way I feel about my early years with God.
I was baptized at age 8, and people regularly ask me if I wasn’t too young. No, I wasn’t. I loved God. Not nearly the way I do now. I didn’t know so much about pain then, about what it would really look like to make sacrifices and bear a cross. I didn’t know God would ask so much of me. I didn’t know all that He would eventually do for me. But did I love God? Absolutely, as fully and completely as an eight year old is able.
When we say that love, any kind, is impossible for a young person, we’re setting ourselves up. If that’s true, anyone older than me can invalidate my love. When I’m 50 and have been married for more than 30 years, someone who’s 60 can say, “You don’t even know what love is.”
That’s what our marriage counselor told us a few weeks before our wedding. He asked us if we were in love, and, smiling silly, lovers’ smiles, we said, “Yes.” He quickly said, “No you’re not. You don’t even know what love is.” He was wrong.
Will I still believe this when Eve comes home from her first year at college with an engagement ring? Or even when London weeps into her pillow after a middle school romance gone bad? Hmmmm…..
I hope so. Love should be for everybody. Not just the old people.